Author Topic: .32 Trenton  (Read 1277 times)

Online Barry Myers

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.32 Trenton
« on: January 29, 2021, 12:27:36 AM »
I have a Trenton percussion half stock rifle that I was considering selling, but I took it to the range today to make a target to encourage the buyer.  Not going to sell it yet as it may be dangerous in its current condition.  It will not hold on half cock or full cock if the set trigger isn't pulled.  It had not done that the last time I had shot it months ago, but I only shot it twice that day and had no issues - or so I thought.  Perhaps I had the set trigger pulled, I don't know.

I removed the lock and I was surprised that there is no half cock notch!  It has an area that looks like the sear has dug in, trying to make its own half cock notch.

Have any of you encountered something like this?











Online rich pierce

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Re: .32 Trenton
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2021, 12:37:17 AM »
This is common on late percussion rifles. It makes no sense to us today but with many setups like this one must set the trigger to cock the lock. It would be quite a bit of work to make a tumbler with a half cock notch and fly to fit.
St. Louis, Missouri

Online Barry Myers

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Re: .32 Trenton
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2021, 12:46:34 AM »
Thank you, Rich!  I really appreciate the information.  I can at least shoot it or sell it if I warn the buyer.

Thank you again.

Barry

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: .32 Trenton
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2021, 01:50:22 AM »
 Barry, I have three antique longrifles, and only one of them have a half cock notch on the tumbler. Interestingly, its the one that was converted from flint, and has no set trigger.

  Hungry Horse

Offline Cades Cove Fiddler

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Re: .32 Trenton
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2021, 05:25:13 AM »
 ;) ;)... Lock was marked for the "Trenton Lock and Hardware" of Trenton NJ,... they marketed everything hardware from doorknobs to cast iron toy mechanical banks, which are now very collectible,... all were marked with "TRENTON" inside a diamond shaped line,...  the  TRENTON anvils were also marked the same way,... most later percussion  guns used a variety of "hardware locks",....

Offline Levy

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Re: .32 Trenton
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2021, 08:22:37 PM »
I probably have a half dozen late percussion squirrel rifles and none of them have a half-cock notch, to reiterate was has already been stated.  James Levy
James Levy

Online Barry Myers

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Re: .32 Trenton
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2021, 09:21:25 PM »
I appreciate the comments you have made.  Still, I worry about carrying a gun in the woods with the hammer sitting on a live cap.  I guess that is how one would carry a gun without the half cock notch for safety.  I have been looking in the parts drawer and found some tumblers with flys and half cock notches that look as if the replacement would be possible but I respect the amount of geometry required to make a lock function.  And realize that my blacksmith skills may not be up to the machinist's skills needed.

I am of the belief that a lock will not function with a half cock notch if a fly is not there to make the sear skip over it.  Is that a true belief?

Online Barry Myers

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Re: .32 Trenton
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2021, 11:41:34 PM »
I took my lock apart to further examine it.  The Tumbler appears to have a "no-longer-rounded" edge on the bottom where a previous half cock notch may have once resided.  This may be how it was designed, but I wonder if the surface was worn away by the harder sear.  I don't think that I have ever seen a flat sided tumbler. 

It appears that the sear is digging in to the surface.  I hope you can see what I am talking about and can offer some incite.  Thank you, if you can.





Online rich pierce

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Re: .32 Trenton
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2021, 05:45:35 AM »
I see many percussion rifles with no half cock notch and set triggers that will only fire when set. The front trigger has no blade extension to trip the sear. There’s no way to understand why they did this and felt safe, but it was very common. In this case it sure looks like the tumbler was made as it looks now.

To make such a gun safe by today’s standards would be expensive. A new tumbler with a half cock notch and a fly would be needed.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline Clint

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Re: .32 Trenton
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2021, 06:16:46 AM »
Barry, The Trenton lock was most likely made just as it appears now. These locks were made very quickly, largely by hand, and do not compare at all with the degree of finish you see in modern made locks. Look at the file flash on the inside of the lock bolster where it was fitted to the drum. those file marks were made by a double cut round file pushed by someone who had filed a lot of them and had a lot more to go. If you didn't want to make a new tumbler, but were concerned with safety, consider getting a tumbler from Chambers or L&R. Fitting a new tumbler is not difficult and would be like putting seat belts in a model A.

Offline Ky-Flinter

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Re: .32 Trenton
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2021, 06:46:17 AM »
I am of the belief that a lock will not function with a half cock notch if a fly is not there to make the sear skip over it.  Is that a true belief?

If the gun has set triggers that statement is true.  If the gun has a single (non-set) trigger, when you pull the trigger your finger pressure on the trigger will hold the sear for the split-second needed so that it doesn't catch in the half-cock notch.

-Ron
Life is too short to hunt with an ugly gun.
-Nate McKenzie

Online Barry Myers

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Re: .32 Trenton
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2021, 06:55:53 PM »
Thanks again for the additional information.

I took the gun apart and found that the maker's name is on the underside of the barrel, stamped in block letters: C. Strosnider!  So, I know just a bit more about the gun.  I found that the Trenton Hardware and Lock Company of Trenton, NJ was bought by Edward Van Dyke Skillman in 1875, and then became Skillman H&L.

My previous thoughts about the Trenton Civil War Muskets appear groundless as the locks on those were stamped on the locks with "Trenton" but not the logo of the Trenton anvils and this gun's lock.

My quest continues.  Any information on Strosnider would be appreciated.

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: .32 Trenton
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2021, 08:02:49 PM »
 Names stamped on the bottom barrel flat might indicate the gun has been re-breached at some time in its life. It also might not be the builder, but the barrel maker.

  Hungry Horse

Offline Curt J

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Re: .32 Trenton
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2021, 11:30:15 PM »
Are you real sure about the "Strosnider" spelling?  I checked both American Gunsmiths, by Frank Sellers, and Gun Trade In America, by Jerry Noble & Tom Moore, and neither one lists anyone with that name. These two books contain 99% of all known makers and related tradesmen. I have also encountered rifles with a name on the underside of the barrel, or even on the top flat, away from the original maker's stamp, that I'm very sure were put there by someone who re-cut/re-rifled the bore.

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: .32 Trenton
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2021, 07:33:17 PM »
I just came across this thread and it verifies what I have long said about
most American caplock rifles and the locks they used.COMPLETELY utilitarian
and nothing more.High end locks if found at all on an American muzzle loader
were usually on top of the line target rifles like the Grant rifle and those made
by immigrant European gun makers making schuetzen rifles.
Bob Roller

Online Barry Myers

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Re: .32 Trenton
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2021, 06:17:39 AM »
Mr. Curt.  Here is a picture of the stamp.  The spelling is as I said.  If it was someone other than the maker, I don't know what it could have been recut from - it is labeled on the outside of the barrel .315.  The pipes are 1/4".  I have contacted a family named Strosnider from WVa, and they are checking their genealogy records for a C. Strosnider.


Offline JTR

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Re: .32 Trenton
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2021, 07:00:35 PM »
From my experience, the name on the bottom of the barrel would most likely be the barrel maker.
But at the point in time when this gun was made, it could have been put there by an owner, etc, etc....
John Robbins